Researchers strive to make glue that you can handle
Scientists in Japan have developed an adhesive that starts out as powder but transforms into glue for hard-to-reach places when pressed. This represents a promising application for liquid marble technology.
Because the PSA powder can be poured into confined and intricate spaces and activated by pressure, this removes the awkwardness of application facing other PSAs. ‘To satisfy desired design properties in the automobile, aerospace and electronics industries, there is a great need to stick together parts with complicated shapes,’ says Fujii. ‘We believe that our powder can stick these parts, which cannot be bonded using PSA tapes and spray droplets.’
‘Some aphids dispose of honey dew – a sticky waste liquid in which they could potentially drown – by encapsulating it in a hydrophobic powder to create a soft ball that can be rolled away,’ comments Glen McHale, an expert in applied and materials physics at the University of Northumbria in the UK. ‘Here, this is used as inspiration to encapsulate a sticky, hard-to-handle and transport, pressure-sensitive adhesive into a free-rolling and non-sticky liquid marble – a fantastic biomimetic idea.’
This article is free to access until 30 November 2015
S Fujii et al, Mater. Horiz., 2015, DOI: 10.1039/c5mh00203f